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English Composition Course Guide
A guide for students in ENGL 110, 155, 210, and other composition courses.
The first step in the research process is to select a topic. The topic you choose should be neither too broad nor too narrow in scope. Rather, it should be specific with some well-defined boundaries. To help you define a research topic, consult background resources, such as scholarly encyclopedias, to learn more about your topic and to find recommended related articles and books on the topic. If, when you search for sources on your topic, you get too many results, you may want to narrow your topic further. If you get too few, you may need to broaden its scope.
Other elements you may want to consider to help you define your topic include:
Geographic Location: Where does the topic take place?
Time Period: When did your topic become important or of issue?
Population Type: Who are the people involved or affected?
Point of view: What is the lens through with you are considering your topic (e.g., economic, social, cultural, biological)?
In-depth reports (averaging 12,000 words) on topics in the public arena, i.e., current affairs, the economy, social trends, international relations, criminal justice, education, the environment, government and politics. It is suitable for all levels of researchers.